Friday, September 12, 2008

Kids, Horses, and Competition

I am not impressed with the competitive aspect of horse shows for any age group, but especially for kids. Horse shows, and other forms of equine competition,lead to the false belief that winning ribbons increases a horse's worth. Ribbons do not affect the worth of a horse because all horses, just like all people are equal in worth. Sales price has no relation to worth. By virtue of drawing its first breath, each horse has achieved its worth. The worth of a horse's life is innate and is not something to be set by human whim.
I would not hold my horse to be of less worth because it won a yellow ribbon instead of a blue ribbon anymore than I would hold my child to be of less worth because he struck out instead of hitting a home run.
Worthier competition is that which pits a horse and rider against themselves in a solitary effort for self improvement. All summer my little riders have been conditioning themselves and the horses in exactly that quest. They will take the wild Corolla Spanish Mustangs that we have trained to saddle and, weather permitting, will seek to do something that those outside of our program might consider impossible. They will not be competing against each other. Instead they have been working together as a team all summer to take on this challenge.
They have taken wild horses and made them part of our team. Our team of riders range in age from 10-nearly 50. All of the horses have been captured within the last two years and some within the past several months.
Stay tuned.

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